Ni"trous(?), a. [L. nitrosus full of natron: cf. F. nitreux. See Niter.] 1. Of, pertaining to, or containing, niter; of the quality of niter, or resembling it.
(Chem.) Of, pertaining to, or designating, any one of those compounds in which nitrogen has a relatively lower valence as contrasted with nitric compounds.
(Chem.), a hypothetical acid of nitrogen HNO2, not known in the free state, but forming a well known series of salts, viz., the nitrites. --
Nitrous oxide. See Laughing gas.
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